Mountain Magnolia
Magnolia fraseri Walt.

Mountain Magnolia: Full Size

Also known as Fraser Magnolia or Umbrella-Tree.

Mature Size: Commonly 30 to 50 feet in height and 1 to 1½ feet in diameter.

Form: Small tree often growing in clumps, with a wide-spreading, open crown.

Habitat: Rich coves and cool slopes, in mountain areas.


Alternate, simple, oblong, 10 to 12 inches long, with earlobe-like projections at the base; leaves often clustered at ends of branches.


Very showy, about 10 inches across, with several creamy white petals and an unpleasant odor; appearing with the leaves in spring.


Conelike cluster, 4 to 5 inches long, red at maturity, later turning brown, containing scarlet seeds.


Smooth, grayish brown, splotchy, later developing scaly plates.


Thick, purplish brown, with large leaf scars; end bud is 1 inch long, smooth and purplish brown.

Values and Uses

The wood is light, weak and easily worked. It occasionally is used for lumber or pulpwood, in a mix with yellow-poplar and other magnolias. Birds and small mammals eat the seeds, and deer sometimes browse the twigs. The tree is sometimes planted for ornamental purposes.

Did You Know?

Another magnolia species nicknamed umbrella-tree (Magnolia tripetala) is found in scattered mountain areas of the state. Its large leaves spread from the branch tips like the ribs of an umbrella.